Hunting

The 7 Best Crossbow Broadheads [Mechanical & Fixed Blade] – 2019

Today’s crossbows are nothing like those of medieval Europe and even crossbows from 15 years ago feel ancient in comparison with bleeding-edge models.

A great crossbow, however, is only as good as the projectile it fires. In this guide, I’ll try to introduce you to the best fixed blade and mechanical crossbow broadheads for any hunter.

We’ll go over a few things to think about before you buy and I’ll suggest a couple of models you can shop for to get you out there faster!

Best Crossbow Broadheads

 QAD Exodus Crossbow Full BladeCarbon Express Rage X-Treme BroadheadMuzzy Trocar HBX Hybrid Broadhead
editors choice
Tip:ChiselCut-on-contactChisel
Weight:100 - 125 grains100 grains100 grains
Type:Fixed BladeMechanicalHybrid
Blades:324

For more of my top golf gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Crossbows, Recurve Bows, Compound Bows.

Quick Answer: The Best Rated Crossbow Broadheads For 2019

  1. QAD Exodus Crossbow Full Blade Broadhead
  2. Carbon Express Rage X-Treme Crossbow Broadhead
  3. New Archery Products NAP Spitfire Maxx Crossbow
  4. G5 Outdoors Montec Crossbow Fixed Blade Broadhead
  5. NAP Killzone Crossbow Broadhead
  6. Muzzy Trocar HBX Hybrid Crossbow Broadhead
  7. Excalibur Boltcutter SS Broadhead

Our reviews of the top rated crossbow broadheads with a comparison table and our buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Crossbow Broadhead Reviews

Going after bigger game but maybe you prefer to keep things simple and affordable? Perhaps you’ve had problems with penetration power in the past?

Check out these beefy cutting machines.

There’s nothing really flashy about these broadheads. They’re a flat black color with steel blades and a beefy black chisel tip.

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The manufacturer claims that it’s a cut-on-contact tip, but it’s really shaped like a chisel tip – maybe we can consider it a hybrid sharpened chisel?

Either way, the large reinforced tip is great for puncturing thick, heavy hides such as deer, boar, or elk.

After penetration, the broadhead uses three fixed blades to deliver a 1.25” cutting diameter which should be enough to drop just about any game.

I think a lot of users will appreciate the affordable price and replaceable blades.

Best for those looking to go with one of the best crossbow broadheads that is a simple fixed blade solution to big game hunting.

 

QAD Exodus Crossbow Full Blade Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Chisel
  • Weight: 100 – 125 gr
  • Blades: Fixed
  • Number of Blades: 3

If the last broadheads were simple and austere, these are flashy and modern. Their looks, as well as their performance, is pushing the envelope that demanding modern archers seek.

It’s hard not to start by talking about the bright orange color of the broadhead itself.

Inside are two mechanical blades that deploy on contact to create a massive 2.3” cutting channel that will bring down game in no time!

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At the tip of this aggressive broadhead is a true cut-on-contact blade embedded solidly in the body of the broadhead itself. This blade opens up a channel that allows the much large blades to follow with a clean cut.

Make sure you practice your aim with the included practice tip, however. Hitting major bone with these broadheads could cause broken blades and poor penetration.

Best for archers looking for the best mechanical broadhead and tend to shoot longer distances.

 

Carbon Express Rage X-Treme Crossbow Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Cut-on-contact
  • Weight: 100 gr
  • Blades: Mechanical
  • Number of Blades: 2

Somewhere between the simplicity of a fixed blade broadhead and the modern precision of a mechanical blade is the NAP Spitfire Maxx.

These blades have the heft and beef of a fixed blade with the advantages of a mechanical.

These mechanical broadheads keep things simple. There are no o-rings or rubber bands to be used. Simple friction locks keep the blades in place until the point of contact.

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At the head of the bolt is a single-piece cut-on-contact tip. Because of the beefy one-piece construction, it has a bit more stability than some, but not as much as a chisel tip.

Once deployed this broadhead slices a 1.75” diameter channel. However, it uses 3 blades to create a larger overall wound that helps promote faster, cleaner, ethical kills.

Of course, the added blades mean more friction so be sure you’ve got the power in your crossbow to punch this bolt through!

Best for high power, high-speed crossbows, and archers looking for a hybrid type broadhead.

 

New Archery Products NAP Spitfire Maxx Crossbow at a Glance:

  • Tip: Cut-on-contact
  • Weight: 100 gr
  • Blades: Mechanical
  • Number of Blades: 3

G5 Outdoors Montec Crossbow Fixed Blade Broadhead

If you’re looking for a solid, reinforced, geometrically designed broadhead that can cut as well as it can pierce, the buck stops here.

These bad boys look just as good as they perform and best of all it’s a very simple design that’s easy to use. This broadhead is made from a single piece of carefully metal-injected steel to create a geometric powerhouse.

The entire thing is created in a rigid, triangular frame with a hollow body that keeps it at 100 – 125 grains.

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Because of the construction, the cut-on-contact tip is basically also a chisel point tip all in one.

Maybe the biggest drawback of these broadheads is the relatively narrow wound channel. With just 1 – 1.125” of cutting diameter, they leave less than half the width of a wound as the Rage X-Treme broadheads we looked at earlier.

On the other hand, they’re beefy, nearly indestructible, and feature unmatched punching power.

Best for those who want the best fixed blade broadhead that is simple, sleek, and mechanically reliable every time.

 

G5 Outdoors Montec Crossbow Fixed Blade Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Cut-on-contact
  • Weight: 100 – 125 gr
  • Blades: Fixed
  • Number of Blades: 3

If the last broadheads were simple, these stand out as space-age tech! Really, these mechanical broadheads aren’t pushing the bleeding edge of tech, but they do deliver on accuracy and affordability.

With two blades to push and a 2” wide cutting path, these broadheads are a great match for modern high-speed crossbows.

They’re rated up to 400fps which is easily achievable with modern crossbows.

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Like many newer mechanical broadheads, there are no o-rings or rubber bands to deal with. Internal spring clips keep the blades locked in place until point of contact.

These are probably a good match for smaller “big game” such as whitetail deer. Thanks to the relatively long, thin mechanical blades and the cut-on-contact tip collision with major bone structure could be the undoing of these broadheads.

Best for accurate modern archers looking for one of the best broadheads for deer that is an affordable mechanical broadhead with a moderate-to-wide wound width.

 

NAP Killzone Crossbow Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Cut-on-contact
  • Weight: 100 gr
  • Blades: Mechanical
  • Number of Blades: 2

A true hybrid of fixed blade reliability and mechanical accuracy, these mashup broadheads might be the blade of choice for those seeking a middle ground.

This broadhead is built around a beefy central spine that features a diamond-shaped chisel point. Let me tell you, it’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to punching through tough hide and bone.

On the broadhead are two fixed blades with 1” of combined cutting width.

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These are piggybacked by two mechanical blades that deploy on contact. These mechanical blades have an additional 1-⅝” of cutting width.

All that said, there are a lot of blades to push through your target! You’re going to want to make sure your bow has the kinetic energy to really push this bolt out with some speed.

Best for all the advantages of a chisel point, reliable fixed blades, and wide mechanical blades all in one.

 

Muzzy Trocar HBX Hybrid Crossbow Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Chisel
  • Weight: 100 gr
  • Blades: Hybrid
  • Number of Blades: 4

Here’s another entry on the side of “keep it simple”. Don’t be fooled, however, these simple broadheads are well-loved for their reliability.

At the head of these blades is a simple tapered chisel point. They’re sharpened deeply enough that they have 3 small cutting surfaces to help begin parting the wound channel.

Three replaceable hollow blades do the work of opening up the 1-1/16” wound channel.

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These blades are extremely simple but that’s one of the reasons I think so many people love these broadheads.

One major factor to note is that these broadheads are on the heavy side. At 150 grains these are ideal for extremely high power bows or lightweight bolts.

With a little extra weight, you can take advantage of increased kinetic energy to help carry the bolt through the game.

Best for a simple, proven broadhead that has a little extra weight behind it.

 

Excalibur Boltcutter SS Broadhead at a Glance:

  • Tip: Chisel
  • Weight: 150 gr
  • Blades: Fixed
  • Number of Blades: 3

Crossbow Broadhead ComparisonTable

Crossbow Broadheads TipWeightTypeBladesRating
QAD Exodus Crossbow Full Blade BroadheadChisel100 - 125 grFixed Blade35.0 / 5.0
Carbon Express Rage X-Treme Crossbow BroadheadCut-on-contact100 grMechanical24.3 / 5.0
New Archery Products NAP Spitfire Maxx CrossbowCut-on-contact100 grMechanical33.9 / 5.0
G5 Outdoors Montec Crossbow Fixed Blade BroadheadCut-on-contact100 - 125 grFixed34.1 / 5.0
NAP Killzone Crossbow BroadheadCut-on-contact100 grMechanical24.0 / 5.0
Muzzy Trocar HBX Hybrid Crossbow BroadheadChisel100 grHybrid44.2 / 5.0
Excalibur Boltcutter SS BroadheadChisel150 grFixed34.5 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Crossbow Broadheads

best crossbow broadheads for deer

Game Type

Let’s talk specifically about the type of wild game you’re trying to get out and hunt. Broadheads are sharp-bladed attachments for the front of your crossbow bolt meant to inflict enough damage to kill your game.

However, they’re only really ideal for certain types of wild game. Fowl, for instance, are usually hunted with specific bolt tips that are quite different from your common broadheads.

All that said, there are many different types of broadheads out there for many animals.

Large mammals, such as bear, usually are hunted with much beefier broadheads designed to handle impact with huge, sturdy bones.

North American whitetail deer, arguably the most popular target for a crossbow broadhead, can be hunted with a wide swath of various broadheads. Some are designed to deflect off the bone, some are designed to deploy on impact, others might be designed to be simple and inexpensive.

Generally, those targeting big game such as elk, bear, or bison may want to focus on sturdy fixed blade broadheads. For those targeting smaller game, a mechanical broadhead may offer more accuracy.

Mechanical vs Fixed Blade Broadheads

Fixed Blade Broadhead vs Mechanical Broadhead
Fixed Blade Broadhead vs Mechanical Broadhead

Since I just mentioned the two, it’s probably time to make sure everyone knows the difference between mechanical and fixed blade broadheads.

Mechanical broadheads are relatively new to the scene. These broadheads all use folding, flipping, or retracting blades to minimize their profile and improve flight performance.

Unfortunately, while accuracy may be improved thanks to the smaller in-flight crosswind profile of the blades, reliability remains an issue. With no exposed blades during flight, breezes and wind affect these blades less.

On impact, however, the deployment system for the blades goes oft awry which means you may injure your quarry or lose your bolt.

Fixed broadheads are the old standby. They’re just a big piece of sharp metal on the end of a flying stick – nothing fancy here.

Except that modern fixed blade broadheads feature odd profiles such as triangle, circles, and other weird shapes. They also are made from insanely lightweight, sharp, and durable metal that is extremely lightweight.

While there are no mechanical systems to fail when deploying a fixed blade, the major downside is that those blades are much more affected by wind over distance than their mechanical counterparts.

Accuracy, particularly in windy conditions, is not as reliable as with mechanical broadheads.

Type of Broadhead Tip

Chisel Tip Broadhead vs Cut-on-Contact
Chisel Tip Broadhead vs Cut-on-Contact

There are really just two different types of broadhead tips out there.

Either your broadhead has some kind of bladed tip, or it has a “chisel” type tip.

Bladed tips, sometimes called “cut on contact”, are fantastic at parting flesh as you might imagine. However, because of the force delivered at the tip of the broadhead, these bladed cut on contact tips can be fragile.

That’s why chisel point, the stouter and beefier tip choice, is the broadhead style of choice against animals with thick hides and big bones.

Both chisel point and bladed point broadheads come in many shapes and sizes. However, no matter the fine details, just remember the big picture:

If you’re going against tough, big animals think chisel point. If you’re going against a smaller game you should get better performance out of a cut on contact style tip.

Broadhead Weight

This important factor is really rather easy to figure out. Let’s make sure you understand how and why, though!

Broadhead weight is exactly that, the weight of the broadhead. Typically this is measured in something called grains. To put that into perspective let’s look at the weight of a few common items in grains.

  • Paperclip – 15 grains
  • House key – 120 grains
  • Broadheads 100 grains – 300 grains
  • iPhone 5s – 1,728 grains

Don’t be confused, grains is just another measure of weight like grams, kilograms, or ounces.

What grain broadhead you should use depends on a few factors, however, so listen up. The power of your crossbow, the weight of your crossbow bolt, and sometimes your chosen game may impact broadhead weight choice.

First, you’ll want to check your crossbow manual and make sure you get the recommended bolt type and length (or go to an archery shop and ask). At this point, you should be able to check your user’s manual for your crossbow to find the right grain weight for you.

The reason that you need to know your bolt type and weight before determining your broadhead are because the combined weight of bolt plus broadhead is important to the final performance in the field.

If you have extremely light bolts you may need a slightly heavier broadhead so the bow doesn’t overpower your bolt which can be dangerous. On the flip side, if your bolt and broadheads are too heavy your projectile will have poor flight performance.

Whatever you do, once you decide on weight, be sure to practice with corresponding field tips. If your broadhead is 150 grains and you practice with 125-grain field tips, you’ll be doing yourself a major disfavor.

Number of Blades

best crossbow broadheads
2, 3 and 4 Bladed Crossbow Broadheads

My biggest tip for you here is just to say, “don’t overthink it”.

People will argue things like entry and exit wound shape, the number of cuts, wound closure, and other factors that “might” be important in choosing the number of blades on your broadhead.

While it is gruesome, the goal of a broadhead is to inflict the greatest amount of cutting possible while entering the animal for a quick and ethical kill. Most agree that a bolt that passes fully through the animal is also more efficient than one which does not.

Modern crossbows have tons of excess power compared to other bolt-launching platforms we’ve had in the past. For that reason, I think the decision should be relatively easy to make.

Use the bolt with the most number and greatest size of blades that you can which will still pass fully through the animal. If you’ve got a particularly strong crossbow, you may be able to get away with 4+ blades or blades with odd shapes that still have enough kinetic energy to pass through.

Someone with a less powerful crossbow, however, might be better off sticking to a simple 2-blade broadhead that still passes through cleanly.

In the end, if you’re finding that you have poor penetration then go with a less complicated broadhead.

FAQs About Crossbow Broadheads

best mechanical broadhead

Q: Are today’s mechanical broadheads more reliable than older ones?

A: Ten or fifteen years ago mechanical broadheads were well known for their poor reliability. Most of these broadheads used o-rings or rubber bands to hold the blades in place during flight.

Of course, these sometimes failed to deploy properly.

Today’s mechanical broadheads have much more refined systems. Spring clip retention systems have widely taken over and improve the reliability of blade deployment on contact.

Better designs, machining, and materials mean that overall I think that the chances of a modern mechanical blade failing to deploy are much less than in the past.

All that said, however, many still prefer the simple reliability of fixed blades because there is a 0% chance of them failing to deploy.

Q: Can I practice shooting my broadheads?

A: You can…. And cannot.

Broadheads used on target shooting will quickly destroy any target you shoot them at. Additionally, after just a single shot most hunters consider broadhead blades “dull”. That is, too dull to reliably be used to take game.

What that means is you should only shoot your broadheads at the game animal you intend to kill.

However, some broadheads come with practice broadheads. These usually imitate the size, shape, and weight of the actual broadhead so they have similar flight characteristics.

This is usually seen as a more accurate method of “dialing in” your sights than just shooting field tips.

Q: Should I invest in more expensive broadheads?

A: Many people to subscribe to the school of thought that you get what you pay for. In many cases, this seems to hold true.

However, in the case of broadheads, I think it’s possible to save some money while also getting quality.

Hunters have used fixed blade broadheads for years with success and these days they’re quite cheap. In that way, you can probably find good quality broadheads without having to invest a bunch of money.

If you plan to shoot long distances and really want the best accuracy, however, you need mechanical broadheads. In this case, you might be well advised to invest a little extra cash to gain extra reliability.

Q: Can I reuse my bolt and broadhead after it has been used on game?

A: Bolts can typically be reused because they usually pass through cleanly without much damage.

Broadheads, on the other hand, need new blades after being used.

Many people like to use broadheads with replaceable blades for this reason. However, I have found that it’s easier just to buy less expensive broadheads and simply replace them entirely after use.

Most times after using the broadheads are packed with blood, fur, and dirt. They quickly become difficult or impossible to replace the blades anyways and that’s why I like to just replace the whole broadhead usually.

Q: Are serrated broadheads better than smooth blades?

A: There’s a lot of dispute around this but generally speaking most people tend to default to the fine, non-serrated blades.

Serrated blades were popular for a while when they first came out. However, most users quickly found problems with serrations hanging up on bone and decreasing the overall reliability of shot quality.

Additionally, serrated blades are difficult or impossible to resharpen which some archers do like to do.

All in all, the jury is still out on the exact benefits of serrated broadheads. Decide for yourself if the serrated blades add any benefits to your hunting.

Outside Pursuits Overview

At the end of the day, when you’re watching the sunset from your blind, you want a reliable and effective broadhead to bag that buck that comes down the trail.

Some may prefer further shots and more accuracy and tend toward mechanical broadheads. Others may prefer the simple reliability of a fixed blade broadhead to make sure things go right when the moment matters.

Remember to read through the “how to choose” section and get yourself updated on the features you need to know. Then visit our list of the best broadheads for crossbows today so you can spend less time shopping and more time in the field!

Performance
Quality
Value

The QAD Exodus is our Editor's Choice for the best crossbow broadhead with its combination of performance, quality and value.

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Casey Fiedler

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.

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